As a low-lying country that faces a sea level rise of up to 40 centimetres by 2050, the Netherlands must go to great lengths to build climate change resilience. Sand dunes can be a "natural" part of the solution that merges coastal protection with the ability to host local wildlife populations.

This was the motivation for this year's Go Green activities in Rotterdam. Despite a chill in the air and rain in the vicinity, eight employees of Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam, with over 30 others from APM Terminals Rotterdam, Rotterdam World Gateway and the Port of Rotterdam, took part in a dune maintenance activity at a nature preserve located next to the port facility.

The 15 September activity involved the planting of Duindoorn bushes, which are native to the area. Such shrubs are important contributors to dune preservation. They work by reducing the speed of winds that can tear the dunes apart, but the dunes still require maintenance to ensure ongoing resilience, and the port workers were on hand to provide some.

They were guided by Bureau Stadsnatuur (City Nature), an independent Dutch conservation organisation.  Bureau Stadsnatuur conducts research into protected species, conducts inventories to determine the biodiversity of areas, and provides advice and environmental support for projects.

This day, they also supported cooperation between the local port operators. As Rob Bagchus, ECT's Chief Public Affairs and PR Officer, stated, “It is good to work together with our colleagues from other terminals, it is fun and it serves an important purpose.”

A Green Terminal

ECT is no stranger to sustainability. Its Euromax Terminal at the Maasvlakte is already one of the greenest container terminals in the world, with almost all equipment powered by electricity.

ECT also received the Lean and Green Award in 2010. The winners of this Dutch award must pledge to demonstrably reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 20 percent over a five-year period. Three years later, with this goal already achieved, ECT was granted the Lean and Green Star in recognition.